BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
INFORMATION minister Monica Mutsvangwa yesterday said government is ploughing through with media and other legal reforms, with a view to move away from toxic politics and democratise Zimbabwe.
Mutsvangwa made the remarks yesterday at the two-day National University of Science and Technology (Nust) media summit.
The Nust Department of Journalism and Media Studies is co-hosting the media summit with the Zimbabwe Centre for Media and Information Literacy (ZCMIL) under
the theme New Media and Democracy: Beyond Fake News, Disinformation and Misinformation.
The conference is jointly sponsored by the United States embassy and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Zimbabwe.
Mutsvangwa said efforts to replace the widely-condemned harsh Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) under media reforms were a
confirmation of the government’s commitment to democratise Zimbabwe.
“The topic (Media Reform Bill) strives to paint AIPPA and related POSA Bills as a hatchet job of the new dispensation. As the minister on the steering wheel, I
hasten to dismiss that accusation. By principle, your President, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, means exactly what he says. The
new media reform Bill is meant to overhaul the reactionary legislation of the former regime . . .” Mutsvangwa said.
Mutsvangwa’s ministry is spearheading efforts to replace AIPPA with the Freedom of Information Act, the Protection of Personal Information Act, and the
Zimbabwe Media Commission Act.
AIPPA has always been criticised as contradictory to the principles of access to information, privacy, and media freedoms as guaranteed in the constitution.
“What the new dispensation wants is a free and vibrant Press to underpin and propel the vision of a new and prosperous Zimbabwe. The second republic that began
in November 2017, under the visionary leadership of President Mnangagwa, committed itself to broaden and deepen democracy in the country. To that end,
government committed itself to improve governance. The media is one such governance sector,” she said.
“Government has embarked on a wide range of legal reforms to align the existing laws to the Constitution and introduce laws that will make Zimbabwe a better
country for its citizens.”